Crampon Reviews

Climbing magazine's gear testers are out all winter (and much of the summer, too, on high mountains around the world), and they try out nearly every new crampon that comes onto the market. These reviews offer expert advice on the best crampons for your favorite style of mountaineering, from snow slogs to dry tooling.
  • Grivel-G10-Crampon

    Grivel G10 Crampon

    Grivel has updated its classic G10 mountaineering spikes with a more secure heel spring called the Moletta, which locks the crampons down in the rear, so there is no accidental disengagement between the boot and the ’pon. The Moletta is also completely tool-free and “easier to adjust than other spring-pin systems I’ve used,” said one tester.

  • Hot Steel for Cold Ice

    Hot Steel for Cold Ice

    If steep, technical ice flows make you shiver with delight, check out the Griven G22 Crampons ($225, grivel.com). One tester spent four days climbing fresh ice in Cody, Wyoming, and was amazed at how well the G22s (available in one size) penetrated dense water ice.

  • Salewa Pro Guide

    2012 Gear Guide: Alpine Gear

    Salewa Pro Guide - When Salewa revealed stiff-soled climbing boots that loosen up for walking with a simple adjustment, people slapped their heads and said, “Why didn’t I think of that?” But would they really work? Our main tester, a Rainier guide, used these boots on his home mountain and on steep ice in Montana, and he loved them. “The boots continue to impress with the walk/climb mode adjustment,” he reported. “I wear them on any approach in walk mode, switch over to climbing for the steep ice, and then step blissfully back into walking comfort for the hike out.”

  • Crampon Review - No 226 - December 2003

    Crampon Review - No 226 - December 2003

    Crampon designers’ imaginations are working overtime: rigid vs. semi-rigid, straight or anatomic frames, mono and dual front point configurations.

  • Trango Hyper Harpoon - Crampon Review No 226

    Trango Hyper Harpoon - Crampon Review No 226

    Trango has clearly put some thought into creating a very versatile, high performance, rigid crampon.

  • Stubai X-Dream - Crampon Review No 226

    Stubai X-Dream - Crampon Review No 226

    The Stubai X-Dream’s rigid frame rails are aluminum, which Stubai claims makes the X-Dream significantly lighter.

  • Simond Pitbull Speed RS - Crampon Review No 226

    Simond Pitbull Speed RS - Crampon Review No 226

    Summary: At the Pitbull’s pricepoint, a crampon should come packaged with all the latest whistles and bells, it better have significant design and performance advantages over the competition, and it ought to include a decent bottle of single-malt whisky.

  • Petzl Charlet M10 - Crampon Review No 226

    Petzl Charlet M10 - Crampon Review No 226

    The semi-rigid M10 is the heaviest crampon we surveyed, though Petzl Charlet says that design changes made to the heel unit and binding for this season will trim another five ounces (a surprise because it is the forward unit which seems particularly big-boned).

  • Grivel G14 - Crampon Review No 226

    Grivel G14 - Crampon Review No 226

    Grivel has gotten the semi-rigid design just right: thanks in large part to the horizontal framing, the G14 is very clean — and less prone to balling (although anti-bots are available and 50% cheaper if purchased with the crampons).

  • DMM Terminator - Crampon Review No 226

    DMM Terminator - Crampon Review No 226

    The DMM Terminator is a virtual chameleon, packaged with parts for adapting to nearly any style of vertical terrain.

  • Cassin C14 - Crampon Review No 226

    Cassin C14 - Crampon Review No 226

    A new semi-rigid design, the C14 delivers on many a competitor’s unfulfilled promise: the relatively lightweight frame has the lowest profile of any crampon we looked at, delivering a less imposing, unencumbered feel, particularly on mixed ground.

  • Black Diamond Bionic - Crampon Review

    Black Diamond Bionic - Crampon Review

    A relatively new entry into the field of semi-rigid crampons, the Bionic has a few kinks to work out.